It's an exciting time in my husband's homeland of the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix is abdicating her throne next month, and for the first time in 123 years, the Dutchies will have a king, Willem-Alexander.
Perhaps the upcoming coronation is making Niels a little homesick because he has been requesting that I make some of his favorite Dutch dinners.
There's nothing more Dutch that hutspot, which I usually describe to non-Dutchies as glorified mashed potatoes. In Holland, hutspot is usually a meal by itself. Occasionally, it is served with sausage, but that's more for stampot, which is a recipe for another day. I've started playing this recipe by substituting sweet potatoes, rutabega, parsnips and other root vegetables for some of the potatoes for a little variety.
Hutspot is more then just an answer to mashed potatoes - it is a dish full of history and tradition.
In 1574, the Dutch were engaged in the Eighty Years' War, which was the Dutch war of independence against the Spanish. The Siege of Leiden lasted for months, and the people were starving. The Dutch strategy was to let the low-lying coastal land to flood so that the ships could come in to attack from the sea. The Spanish were essentially flushed out, and as they fled for higher ground, it is said that they left behind pots of a stew made of potatoes, carrots, and onions. The people of Leiden called it Hutspot ("mixed pot") and it became a symbol of victory.
More recently, during the Nazi occupation, the dish came to represent freedom from oppression since its ingredients could be grown beneath the soil and were somewhat hidden from sight. Plus, the carrots gave the dish an orange color, which represents the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange.
Because I love my husband, and I love the convenience of my crockpot, I converted the recipe into a crock pot recipe. Hello, crockpot hutspot! If you don't have a crockpot, you can still make this traditional Dutch dish the old-fashioned way).
- 6 onions (3 cups)
- 6 carrots (2 cups)
- 8 potatoes (5 cups)
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk (or almond milk, for a dairy-free version)
- 1/4 cup butter (or coconut butter, for a dairy-free version)
- salt to taste (I actually like to use garlic salt)
- pepper to taste
1. Dice onions, carrots and potatoes and place in crockpot. This is still the most time-consuming part. If you really like this recipe, you could chop twice the amount and freeze the extra in a bag for the future.
2. Add butter, milk, salt and pepper.
3. Cook on low for 3.5 - 4 hours.
6. Serve in bowl.
Many people like to enjoy hutspot with sausage. Niels doesn't care for it as much, so we often eat it plain. If you do want to include sausage, just puncture it with a fork and then place it on top of the vegetables before starting the crock pot.
**Note: this post is a revamp of a post I made on another blog I have woefully ignored**
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